Lindsay Whalen is one of the greatest women’s basketball players to ever step foot on the basketball court, both inside and outside of her home state of Minnesota.
She is a three-time state champion and four-time All-State selection at Hutchinson High School.
She was a star for her hometown Minnesota Gophers team that she helped lead to their first-ever Final Four appearance en route to setting many records that remain to this day.
She is a four-time WNBA Champion and five-time All-Star who played a key role in orchestrating and organizing the Minnesota Lynx as their point guard during one of the best dynasty runs in WNBA history.
Oh, and she served one of the top honors for any athlete in representing her country while winning two Olympic gold medals and four FIBA gold medals on the international stage.
Following her playing days, those achievements throughout her career — not even mentioning what she has done off the court and in the local community — were recognized when she was enshrined into not one but two Hall of Fame’s: The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
On Friday night at Target Center before the Lynx faced the New York Liberty, the state she grew up in and the organization she spent nine seasons with honored Whalen on “Whay Day” recognizing her latest enshrinement into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Lynx and fans in attendance for Friday’s game celebrated the Lynx legend during a pre-game ceremony in the same arena where her No. 13 jersey hangs retired in the rafters, with the first 5,000 receiving a commemorative Lindsay Whalen wall flag upon entry to the game.
three words: Hall. Of. Fame. pic.twitter.com/HiGfvoKUqs— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) August 5, 2023
“It’s good to be back,” Whalen said Friday night. “I’m thankful to the Lynx for having me and my family here tonight.”
Whalen is without a doubt one of the greatest — if not the greatest — homegrown sports heroes the state has ever seen, and her performance on the court could make the argument that she is one of the best point guards the WNBA has ever seen.
In 2018, Whalen retired as the winningest player in WNBA history with 307 victories. The Lynx legend also ranks fourth all-time in career assists (2,345), also ranking in the top 10 all-time in games played (480, seventh all-time), win shares (59.8, ninth all-time) and free throws made (1,407, ninth all-time).
“From my playing career, I don’t have any regrets from that. We accomplished pretty much everything we could have I think,” Whalen said of her playing days. “There are always the locker room, the training room and the people that you miss for sure.”
In her playoff career, Whalen recorded 341 assists to go along with 82 games played, which are the most in WNBA postseason history. She compiled a record of 40-16 in the playoffs with a winning percentage of 71.4%, which is better than that of any WNBA franchise in the regular season or playoffs.
It seems like every year Whalen is getting honored, recognized or celebrated for something she has accomplished in her career. But those occurrences are all deserving because she has accomplished so much on and off the court over her lifetime.
On Friday night, it was just the latest celebration honoring Whalen, who has and continues to represent her state with pure class and excellence.